Mike on Nike

At our latest Business Pulse Breakfast meeting, we had Michael Jackson, General Manager of US Basketball Operations from Nike as our speaker.  He went through a presentation of the history of Nike basketball.  In his presentation, I thought there were several takeaways that apply to all businesses.  Over the next few posts, I’d like to share my thoughts on some of these.

First and foremost, it really is all about relationships!  When Phil Knight (Co-founder of Nike) first started, he didn’t have the deep pockets that his competitors had.  He knew that if he got close to the athletes and coaches (read:  customers and end-users), and really listened to them, he could deliver a world-class product.  The strategy seems to have worked for them!  This practice continues today, with off-site meetings for the athletes, coaches and their families.  Nike places a tremendous value on their relationships.

These relationships foster the products that you and I (and our children) wear today.  As Michael said, “If it works for them (the athletes), it will work for everyone else.”  A challenge for you and your business is to examine your relationship strategy.  Is it on autopilot, or is it at the core of everything you do? This is especially important in these turbulent times.

By the way, Rich Ryman from the Green Bay Press Gazette wrote a nice article on the breakfast. Read his article here.

More to follow.  If you attended, please let us know what you thought.

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